ATLANTA — Good morning, Eagles fans! Still buzzing off the Eagles’ season-opening win? I don’t blame you. Not only did the Eagles leave Atlanta 1-0, but Jalen Hurts looked the part as a franchise quarterback, the defense was dominant for most of the game, and the new coaching staff handled itself relatively well. It’s only one week, but Sunday left plenty for you to feel good about.
You’re signed up to get this newsletter in your inbox every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the preseason. If you like what you’re reading, tell your friends it’s free to sign up here. I want to know what you think, what we should add, and what you want to read, so send me feedback by email or on Twitter @EJSmith94.
— EJ Smith (email@example.com)
By the numbers
From player rotations to depth chart revelations, there’s plenty to take away from the first snap-count report coming out of the Eagles’ 32-6 win against the Falcons Sunday.
You can view the full snap counts here, but here are a few of the key takeaways:
Offensive depth chart notes
Dallas Goedert led the tight ends with 52 snaps played, but it’s worth noting Zach Ertz missed part of the second half with a hamstring injury and still played 41. The Eagles spent the majority of their time in 11 personnel on Sunday and Goedert and Ertz split those reps during the first half. With Goedert in the last year of his contract and seeking an extension, the playing time between the two proven tight ends will be important to monitor, especially early in the season.
DeVonta Smith led the receivers with 62 snaps played (87% of the total offensive plays). Next highest was Jalen Reagor, who logged 50 snaps, while Quez Watkins played 34. Watkins was featured on the first three plays of the game but wasn’t targeted afterward. JJ Arcega-Whiteside also played 16 snaps and may have played more had he not missed part of the second half with an ankle injury. Depending on situation, Arcega-Whiteside might have a role moving forward, especially in certain trips formations because of his blocking ability.
Boston search party
It didn’t take long for Kenneth Gainwell to cement himself as the RB2 for the Eagles, taking all the backup running back snaps behind Miles Sanders. Gainwell, who played 25 snaps, was split out wide in a few empty formations, too. Gainwell’s large role in the offense didn’t leave much for Boston Scott, who didn’t take any snaps with the offense.
Defensive line rotation
Even with the new coaching staff, the Eagles are clearly prioritizing a deep rotation along the defensive line. Fletcher Cox played 57% of the Eagles’ defensive snaps, which was the highest of any defensive lineman. The Eagles emptied their bench late in the fourth quarter, but it was still noticeable how much they rotated at both defensive tackle and end. The tackle rotation featured Cox, Javon Hargrave (56% of the snaps), Milton Williams (43%), Hassan Ridgeway (36%) and Marlon Tuipulotu (8%).
Josh Sweat was the snaps leader at defensive end with 54% played. Brandon Graham (50%), Ryan Kerrigan (47%), Derek Barnett (46%) and Tarron Jackson (3%) filled out the rotation.
What you need to know about the Eagles
Nick Sirianni’s introductory news conference left some questioning how the Eagles’ leadership could choose him to lead the team. As Jeff McLane points out, he quieted those critics with his head coaching debut.
The Eagles won, the rest of the division lost, Carson Wentz and the Colts lost. Marcus Hayes has declared it: Best week ever.
Jalen Hurts silenced some critics of his own on Sunday. As yours truly writes, the first game of his one-year audition as the Eagles’ franchise quarterback was a promising one.
From Hurts to Sirianni’s confidence on fourth down, Josh Tolentino breaks down the main takeaways from the Falcons game.
The day before the game, the Eagles signed Jordan Mailata to a four-year contract extension worth as much as $80 million, as Tolentino reports.